Carroll Delegates to vote on local bills Friday

Carroll County delegates are scheduled to vote Friday on a number of local legislative proposals, including the much discussed charitable gaming legislation and changes to county liquor laws.

Members of the county delegation of the House of Delegates must first approve proposed legislation before it is assigned to a House of Delegates committee for further deliberation. The 2014 legislative session convenes in Annapolis Wednesday.

Delegation members hosted a public hearing Monday night at the Westminster Senior Center to discuss the proposed legislative package.

The meeting, attended by about 25 people, provided few new opinions on the proposed bills, which have been discussed by delegates and county officials over the last month.

A bill that drew a number of questions from delegates was the proposal to increase the liquor license fees over three years to provide funding for an additional part-time inspector for underage liquor sales compliance by the county liquor board.

Del. Susan Krebs, who chairs the Carroll House Delegation, said the increases are huge for small businesses, with some potentially rising nearly 400 percent.

"That's a big increase for small business," she said.

Other local bills that the delegation will vote on Friday include:

• A bill that would enable charitable organizations to host card game or casino night fundraisers

• A bill to raise the county Sheriff's salary from $75,910 to $90,000 in 2015

• A bill to that would cover the county Industrial Development Authority under the Local Government Tort Claims Act, thus lowering the authority's cost of insurance

• The county's annual public facilities bond request

• A bill raising the salary of Orphan's Court judges from $10,000 to $15,000 and to $16,500 for the chief judge

• A bill allowing establishments with an off-sale retail alcohol beverage license to sell draft beer in refillable containers, commonly called growlers

• A bill repealing a section of law that requires the Board of License Commissioners to pay 25 percent of license fees to the incorporated town in which the business is located

• A bond request from the Arc of Carroll County for $500,000 to put toward its planned $2.5 million renovation of the building on Kriders Church Road

• A bill increasing civil and criminal fees for appearance of counsel from $10 to $20 to provide funding for the public law library

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